While scams come in all shapes and sizes, here are four big ones that never seem to go out of style, no matter how often folks are warned about them.
1. Lottery Scam
Lottery scams often take on different forms: In some cases, a fraudster will call or mail information to a consumer claiming to be a government official, informing victims that they’ve won a federally supervised lottery or sweepstakes.
In order to obtain the prize, these schemers will require the victim to provide a payment covering taxes or fees in order to received the supposedly won funds.
To state the obvious, however, there is no lottery. There’s just a large pool of people in Jamaica trained to work in call centers servicing the United States and Canada who figured out that scamming people was much more lucrative than collecting an hourly wage.
Just last month, federal prosecutors indicted a Florida man for his part in aJamaican lottery scam, collecting payments ranging from a wire transfer of $150 to a cashier’s check sent to him through the mail for $12,500. Prosecutors say that he would keep a portion of the payments and send the rest on to his accomplices in Jamaica.